In 1955 little did Prime Minister Sid Holland know that the Admiralty was seeking someone to take the orphan cruiser Royalist off their hands and recover their ill advised expended funds.
Royalist was a modernised sister ship of Bellona and Black Prince that the British Exchequer had strongly criticised. So the Admiralty orchestrated a plan to get rid of this orphan ship. Royalist had been poorly maintained while in Reserve after 1945. While the bridge superstructure, radars and fire control systems had been modernised to a high standard, little had been done to improve the hull, machinery and accommodation. The cruiser required 550 men to crew her with accommodation for only 500 maximum, an outdate messing system and little air-conditioning. No other British warship had her type of guns.
At great cost New Zealand kept Royalist operational until a fortnight before the end of her final commission, on 1 November, 1965, when she suffered condenseritis.
Gerry Wright served in Royalist as a rating in 1959 and as an officer in 1963.
470 pages, landscape A4 size.